The Museum

Written By: Susan Verde

Illustrated By: Peter H. Reynolds

Before Reading

Explore Illustrations

Peruse the cover and illustrations with your child before beginning your read-through. Ask questions like these to elicit initial observations and predictions about the story:

What do you think will happen in this story?

What does it look like the girl is doing on the cover?

{Flip to an illustration} What do you notice in this picture?

Have you been to a museum before? What things did you see there? Did you like it? Why or why not?

As You Read

Take advantage of the simple rhyme scheme as you read, as it gives the story a sing-song quality and makes it more entertaining. Also, make your voice animated and really get into the story as you read. For example, when reading, “Where is the color? What does it mean? It’s the strangest art I’ve ever seen.” be very inquisitive and curious, just as the little girl would be.

Making Connections

As you read along, ask if any events in the story remind your child of an experience that s/he has had in the past. For example, when the little girl begins to dance while looking at the painting of the ballerina, ask, “Have you ever seen a picture or heard a song that made you feel a certain way? For example, have you ever heard a really happy song that made you want to get up and dance? Can you think of any other examples? How does this painting in the picture make you feel?”

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret

Ask your child these questions to gauge his/her understanding of the story:

Did you like the story? Why or why not?

How did the paintings make the little girl feel?

What happened when she saw the blank painting?

What do you think she means when she says that the museum lives inside of her?

Activities: Paint Your Own Creation and Visit a Children’s Museum Near You

Paint Your Own Creation

Supplies: Paper, paint, and a paintbrush


Let your child flip through the illustrations in the book once more and take them all in. Visit Google’s Art Project to virtually visit museums throughout the world. Enjoy paintings and sculptures, and talk about the styles you see and the way you feel when you see certain images. Then, with all of this inspiration, provide your child with a blank sheet of paper or other supplies and ask him/her to start creating a piece for your “art museum” on the home fridge!

Visit an  Art Museum Near You!

To get your child excited about museums like this little girl, search here to find an Art Museum near you! Bring your own art-making supplies with you, so that you can draw or color with your child near the exhibits, or outdoors after taking in the work. Don’t worry about seeing each and every thing at the museum, rather, expose your child to a few things and make sure the visit is light and fun!